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June 15, 2007

Inconvenient Skepticism

CEI Appraisal of Al Gore's Movie

Googling "Inconvenient Truth Schools" returns over 1,300,000 items, a sizeable proportion of which (I haven't checked them all) describe measures being taken to introduce Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth as required reading into schoolrooms worldwide. A couple of examples:

First it was his world history class. Then he saw it in his economics class. And his world issues class. And his environment class. In total, 18-year-old McKenzie, a Northern Ontario high schooler, says he has had the film An Inconvenient Truth shown to him by four different teachers this year
Canada's National Post, Friday, June 15, 2007

The Swedish Prime Minister today announced that the Swedish government will distribute copies of An Inconvenient Truth together with a teaching manual to ALL Swedish high schools.
gep-ed, September 7, 2006

Small wonder that younger people's reasoning and critical faculties, and capacity for independent thought are in decline if this kind of political-ideological propaganda is being force-fed as science.

As a suggestion for an antidote, a 120-page skeptical rebuttal by Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute is posted at http://www.cei.org/pages/ait_response.cfm

The introductory note reads: "In Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, the only facts and studies considered are those convenient to Gore's scare-them-green agenda. And in many instances, he distorts the evidence he cites. In fact, nearly every significant statement Gore makes regarding climate science and climate policy is either one sided, misleading, exaggerated, speculative, or wrong."

Which about says it all.

Note Added June 20, 2007

Kristen Byrnes is a 15-year-old student at Portland High School, Maine. When she is not running track and field, she takes all honors classes, including Earth Science. After becoming upset at the sloppy science in “An Inconvenient Truth” when it was shown to her science class, she decided to create her own Web site, which very politely and scientifically takes the global-warming-caused-by-man theory apart. Her site looks at global warming “without financial and political bias,” which sets her apart from global warming advocates right there. According to her introduction, “It uses the most updated information provided by scientists and researchers and interjects common sense, an important component missing from the global warming debate.” Well said. could it be a sign that kids can only take so much hype before they rebel, and a portent of greater things to come? One can only hope.

Great stuff, Kristen!


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